WNF Open Meeting 14th November

There will be an Open Meeting, for all Residents of the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum Area. at 7.30-9.30pm on Monday 14th November in Wolvercote Village Hall.

The meeting will cover:

  • Presentation of WNF’s activities;
  • Discussion of Local Plan;
  • Discussion of Current and Future Community Projects;
  • AGM: Election of Forum Officers & the Steering Committee.

More details and an Agenda will be posted shortly at http://www.wolvercotenf.org.uk/

CIL Funding Round 2 – Applications received.

Five applications for the second round of CIL-funded projects were received.

  1. Gazebos/Event Shelters for Wolvercote and Wytham Midsummer Festival activities ;
  2. Wolvercote Bells Video Downlink;
  3. Lower Wolvercote Playground improvement;
  4. Cooker for Wolvercote Monday Lunch Club;
  5. John Rowland’s portrait: additional funding request.

Comments are now invited (by 21st October 2022) to assist the WNF committee in making funding recommendations for these projects.

For more information, see here.

CIL Funding Round 1 – Cutteslowe Park Trail

The Friends of Cutteslowe & Sunnymead Park have obtained around £20,000 of funding from various sources including from an application made last year to the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum (WNF) for CIL funds. The grants are being used to put a waymarked, circular walk of about 1 mile / 1.6 km in Cutteslowe Park.

The walk will go through the Community Woodland where grants have already been used to improve some of the pathways so that they are passable all year round. The project is still in progress, but in due course it will include an information board at the start of the walk, which has been generously funded by WNF. “The Woodland Trail”, as the project is known, is intended to encourage children and their families away from the busy play areas to explore the more natural areas of the park where they can enjoy a different type of environment and the rich biodiversity that it has to offer.

The Friends are very grateful for grants towards the project from: Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum, the Keith Holly legacy (administered by Oxford Civic Society and the Oxford Ramblers), The National Lottery Community Fund, Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment, The Doris Field Charitable Trust, and Councillor Steve Goddard for contributions from his Council Budgets. The Friends are also grateful to Oxford City Council for giving permission for the project and to Oxford Direct Services’ staff for their assistance.

WNF Response to Oxford North Planning Application

The Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum have submitted an Updated response to the Reserved Matters Planning Application 22/00675/RES (Oxford North Development).

The most significant change from the WNF’s earlier response (May 2022) follows from the biodiversity report, which provides new evidence of the almost certain failure to achieve a 5% increase in biodiversity across the site.

For further details see: http://www.wolvercotenf.org.uk/development-sites/northern-gateway/

Local Projects funded by CIL – Round 2

Applications are now invited for the second round of CIL-funded projects.  

The purpose of the award of CIL funding is to benefit and enhance public spaces in the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum area for residents and workers.

  • Projects funded by the neighbourhood portion of CIL must benefit the community as a whole.
  • Projects will be expected to meet the objectives set out in the Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Projects should seek to mitigate the impact of development on the area (for example, the increased demand for community facilities, or the loss of amenity).
  • Projects must give value for money.
  • CIL funds cannot be used for feasibility studies.
  • Funds can only be used for capital expenditure, not for staffing or maintenance.

The WNF Steering Committee is happy to offer advice on the application process: email wolvercotenf@gmail.com

The timetable for Round 2 applications is:

  • Deadline for project application submissions: 7 October 2022
  • Applications will be published for comment: 14 October 2022
  • Deadline for comments to be submitted: 21 October 2022
  • Approval for funding of approved projects: 4 November 2022

For full details, including an application form, see http://www.wolvercotenf.org.uk/

Canalside at Oxford North

What Wolvercote residents need to know before it’s too late.
See what the Neighbourhood Forum has to say about Canalside. Our detailed comments on the recent Planning Application (22/00675/RES) are here (pdf).

In Summary:
The Traffic Plan – This is completely inadequate. The parking provision on the development is an average of 0.6 parking spaces per dwelling. People will certainly want more. The consequence will be overspill parking on already crowded village streets, to the annoyance of current residents.
Air Pollution – The developer’s consultants admit that their comments are based on 2019 figures, that current data is insufficient, and that any air pollution is unsafe. They have not taken into account all the approved and proposed development elsewhere adding to traffic on the A40 and A44. Their proposal that air quality will be acceptable is wholly unconvincing.
Noise Pollution – The apartment blocks, including the affordable housing, are built along the A40 to shield the expensive houses from the road noise we know so well. Occupants will be shut in with double glazed windows and forced ventilation – and in summer, the apartments will be too hot according to the developer’s own consultants. Opening the windows to keep cool will let in polluted air and unacceptable noise. Outside space for apartment residents will be equally subject to noise and air pollution.
Biodiversity – The compensation proposed for the loss of green fields and all the ripped-up hedges is too distantly located, and probably not adequate.
Apartment Design – Some of the apartments are not well designed. A local architect remarked: ‘I would not want to live there’!
Drainage and Flood Risk – Concerns about this are shared with the County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority, whose officer currently objects to the application.
There are other worries too.

Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy Projects – Delay explained.

Our local councillors put forward 4 projects, proposed by residents, for funding from the over £250k Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) accumulated in the Wolvercote Neighbourhood area in the period before our plan was made.

These were:

  1. White Hart Pub & market garden seating
  2. Cutteslow Park Woodland Trail
  3. Five Mile Drive notice board
  4. John Rowland portrait and clock

They were not accepted by Council Officers. Council policy is that projects from areas without a made plan have to be included in the annual City budget. The council, however, had failed to divulge to local residents and councillors in neighbourhoods without a made plan how they might influence decisions on the local portion of CIL. There is currently no process by which councillors can apply to have projects in the annual budget.

It is also Council policy that this pot of CIL funding can be used anywhere in the city, no matter where it is raised.  Obviously, we think that the money should be used to mitigate the effects of development in the actual area where it takes place. The City Council thinks ‘the area’ is the whole city.

Andrew Gant, Liz Wade, and I had a meeting on Thursday 3 March to discuss this with the Chief Executive of the City Council. A note of the paper we presented can be found here. We will keep you up to date.

We will now fund the 4 approved projects from the smaller pot of CIL money that became available after our Neighbourhood Plan was made.

Christopher Hardman

Chair Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum 

CIL projects: 1st round

The Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum Steering Committee met on 22 October 2021, and made the following recommendations for Community Projects to be allocated CIL funding. These recommendations will now be taken to the City Council by the local City Councillors. For more details, see the WNF website.

Defribrillator for Five Mile Drive / Lakeside area: Not recommended for funding.
A34 sound survey: Not recommended for funding.
John Rowland portrait and clock: Recommended for funding.
Five Mile Drive notice board: Recommended for funding.
Harbord Road traffic survey: Not recommended for funding.
Blandford Avenue & Sunderland Avenue area traffic calming: Not recommended for funding at this stage.
Cutteslow Park Woodland Trail: Recommended for funding.
White Hart Pub & market garden): Recommended for funding.
Davenant Road – traffic calming Phase 2: Not recommended for funding at this stage.
Tree planting on Nixey’s Field): Recommended for funding.
Lower Wolvercote playground improvement: Not recommended for funding at this stage.
Godstow Road canal steps improvement: Application withdrawn.

Canalside, Oxford North – Public Consultation

From a communication from the Oxford North developers: 

“Hill is preparing a Reserved Matters Application (RMA) for Canalside, part of Oxford North. Canalside forms the area to the south of the A40 and will deliver the first phase of new homes, public park, streets, and landscaping.
As part of Oxford North’s continued community engagement, we invite you to join a public consultation event between 9am and 1pm on Saturday 27th November 2021 at Jurys Inn, Godstow Rd, Oxford.
Here you can view our proposals and discuss the timescales for our application.
Most importantly, we are seeking your views on the application and the project team will
be on hand to answer any questions you may have.”
“If you do plan to attend we are implementing a booking system to maintain social distancing and to reduce the risk of COVID spreading.
Please email: oxfordnorth@hill.co.uk or phone: 0800 032 6760 to reserve an hour time slot.
9:00-10:00 10:00-11:00 11:00-12:00 12:00-1:00″

For more details see the flyer about the meeting.